TITLE

THE PREVALENCE OF IRON DEFICIENCY AMONG PATIENTS PRESENTING WITH COLORECTAL CANCER

AUTHOR(S)
Beale, A.L.; Penney, M.D.; Allison, M.C.
PUB. DATE
April 2003
SOURCE
Gut;Apr2003 Supplement 1, Vol. 52, pA28
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: Retrospective studies suggest that up to half of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) have iron deficiency anaemia at presentation. Iron deficiency (ID) is likely to precede anaemia by several months, hence measurement of serum iron and ferritin could have a role in screening and in early diagnosis of CRC. Aim: To examine prospectively the prevalence of ID among patients presenting with colorectal cancer. Methods: All new patients with CRC presenting to our unit over a 12 month period were invited to participate. Blood was taken at diagnosis or prior to surgery. Criteria for anaemia were Hb < 12.5 g/dl for men and 11.5 g/dl for women with coexistent ID. ID was defined as serum ferritin < 15 µg/I and/or iron saturation < 14%. Right-sided lesions were defined as those proximal to the splenic flexure. We excluded patients with recurrent cancer or co-existing inflammatory bowel disease. Results: During the study period 157 patients presented with new onset CRC, of whom we were able to study 130. Established iron deficiency anaemia was present in 54 (42%) at presentation and a further 23 (18%) were found to be iron deficient without anaemia. 53 patients (40%) had normal iron status at diagnosis. Iron deficiency was more common among patients with right-sided CRC than those with left-sided and rectal tumours (Χ² = 13, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Four-fifths of patients presenting with CRC proximal to the splenic flexure are iron deficient at presentation. Measurement of iron status could assist in the early diagnosis of CRC and might also have a role in selecting healthy subjects for screening by colonoscopy.
ACCESSION #
9747448

 

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